Dang. How long has it been y'all?
Lets start with the Senate races in 2006.
Senator Paul Sarbanes (D), who was first elected in 1976, recently announced he wouldn't run for re-election. Sarbanes, 72, would have been a safe bet for re-election. The early frontrunner for his seat is former Congressman and NAACP Chairman Kweisi Mfume (D). Another potential Democrat is Congressman Chris Van Hollen, who defeated longtime incumbent Congresswoman Connie Morella in 2002. The Republicans are rallying around Lt. Governor Michael Steele. Mfume is favored in this heavily Democratic state. Off hand, I think the last time a Republican won an open Maryland seat would have been 1968 with Charles M. Mathias.
In the big surprise announcement of the year (so far), liberal Senator Jim Jeffords (I) announced he would retire, citing his wife's bout with cancer and his own health problems. Jeffords is currently 71 years old and likely in the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease. In 2001, Jeffords declared his independence from the Republican party and caucused with the Democrats, briefly giving Democrats a majority. Socialist Congressman Bernie Sanders, who is officialy an Indeopendent caucusing with the Democrats, is the obvious frontrunner. He all but announced his candidacy within an hour of Jeffords' announcement. The Democrats will probably not field a candidate and back Sanders. The GOP will hope to recruit Governor Jim Douglas. This race would favor Sanders heavily, with his history of re-elections well above 60%.
Okay, let me point out that I've added a daily quote and a link to Tim Kaine's website. I strongly suggest everyone visit it.